by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 17, 2009)
If you travel often with your pet, or even just have your pet crate trained, then the pet carrier is a big part of your pet's routine. If your pet doesn't particularly like their pet carrier, then that could be a problem, and that dislike for the pet carrier could cause significant frustrations for both you and your pet. The trick to avoid that frustration is to train your pet to love their carrier, because if they love their carrier, then they won't mind being toted around in it whenever you need to do that. By training your pet to love its pet carrier, you will be doing you and your pet a world of good.
If your pet is scared of the carrier initially, then you need to let it know that's the carrier isn't scary and that no harm will come to your pet while it's in the pet carrier. One of the easiest ways to mitigate this fear is to put a treat or two in the back of the carrier. When your pet sees the treats in the back, then ideally, your pet will go into the carrier so it can enjoy its treats. This is really simple, and you may even be able to wean your pet off of the treats so it doesn't need treats to entice it into the carrier. However, it's not a bad thing if you need to bribe your pet with treats. Save a certain kind of treats for only the carrier, that way your pet will know that it can only have those treats if it hops into its carrier.
Another way to train your pet to love its carrier is to simply crate train it from a young age. When you get your puppy, you can crate train it, and that will make any adventure needing a crate that much easier. To do this, all you do is tell your pet that it's "crate time" and you put your pet inside the crate. The first few times you do this, your pet may not be too enthusiastic, but if you train your pet at a young age, then pretty soon, it won't be a problem and you'll be good to go! Whenever you tell your pet it's time to get into the crate, it will go easily and willingly.
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